How to Destroy a Removed Hard Drive

Written by jeff grundy Google
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How to Destroy a Removed Hard Drive
Erase all traces of sensitive data by destroying a hard drive. (hard drive image by IMAGINE from

While not all of the information kept on computers is private or sensitive, many have information on their hard drives they would rather keep confidential. For instance, if you have personal financial information stored on your computer, you probably do not want that information to fall into the hands of others. Of course, you could simply format your hard drive to erase the data. However, those that know how can easily retrieve information discarded in this manner. Therefore, if you have an old hard drives you no longer need, and want to be sure that no one can view your sensitive data, you should physically destroy the drive.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Torx screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper or angle grinder

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  1. 1

    Shut down and power off your computer, then remove all wires and cables and open the case. Disconnect the cable from the hard drive. Remove the hard drive from your computer using a screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Drill four large holes through the hard drive with a drill and a large metal drill bit.

  3. 3

    Use the Torx screwdriver to remove the screws in the hard drive cases. Remove the spindle and platters.

  4. 4

    Sand the surface of the platters with sandpaper until the glossy finish is gone.

  5. 5

    Plug in the angle grinder. Grind the surface of the platters until dust covers the platters. This will make the platters completely unreadable.

  6. 6

    Discard the platters and the other components from the hard drive.

Tips and warnings

  • The data is located on the platters, so it is important to damage them as much as you can.

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